Is it not easier to say, ‘No!,’ than it is to say, ‘Yes!’? We all would like to believe that, even in the simplest of matters in life, we will be able walk away from things that are displeasing to God. However, if this were the case, it would not have been necessary for the Apostle Paul to write in his Epistle to the Romans,
“…I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God…” (12:1, 2).
It is easy to fall into alignment with the surrounding culture, sometimes blindly and sometimes with our eyes wide open. Prohibitions against living in alignment with the world are listed throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The children of Israel were warned about following the practices of those who presented a distraction from absolute allegiance to God in the former state (Egyptians) and those in whom they were about encounter as they entered the Promised Land (Canaanites). (Lev. 18:3, 4, 24-30). Paul spoke of his own struggles in Romans, Chapter Seven,
“…For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of my members. O, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?…” (vv. 14-24).
There is yet still hope for us. Paul, once again, in Romans says,
“…if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live…” (8:13).
The struggle is real and we are not expected to face it alone. Jesus told the disciples in John 16 that He was going to send the Comforter, Who would guide them into all truth (vv. 7, 13). Why would there be a need for Christ to send the Comforter if we were going to be able to navigate through life on our own? Paul says,
“…Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself make the intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God…” (Rom. 8:26, 27).
Trust in the Lord to keep you from the sinful practices of the surrounding culture. Do not place any confidence within yourself or anyone else…you will lose the battle every time…#thinkonthesethings